LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - British finance minister George
Osborne will overhaul the way the government handles
infrastructure procurement on Wednesday, a source familiar with
the matter said on Tuesday, and announce large savings on
Osborne, under pressure to boost Britain's flagging economy
when he updates his economic forecasts on Wednesday, will demand
that the taxpayer has a board seat and a share in the profits of
companies taking on public-private infrastructure contracts.
He will also consider introducing competitions where
investors can bid for stakes in projects already underway.
Under pressure to find savings to get the
Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government's austerity
plan back on track, Osborne will say he has found 1.5 billion
pounds ($2.4 billion) in savings from about 100 existing
contracts in the last 18 months.
A further 1 billion pounds in efficiencies have been
identified, the source said, but gave no details of the time
frame for the savings.
Osborne could face higher government borrowing this year, a
major embarrassment for the Conservatives, who have put cutting
a record budget deficit at the heart of their economic policy.
A sluggish economy has played havoc with the government's
austerity targets since 2010 meaning Osborne may have to
announce further spending cuts or a longer period of fiscal